More

One mom's real-talk letter to her son's future romantic partner.

My son is about to start dating. Here's what I want his future partner to know.

One mom's real-talk letter to her son's future romantic partner.

I’m glad that my kid is dating.

No, really, I am. He has traveled a long, challenging, carefully crafted road toward young adulthood, and we didn’t work this hard just to freak out and get possessive and controlling at the moment he dares to carve out a personal life of his own.

We didn’t raise this fine young man just to pretend that he’s on a high shelf for no one else but parents and family members to appreciate and admire.


But if it's up to me, the person who chooses to be with my kid romantically won’t be just anyone.

They’ll need to have their act together. They can’t rely on their beauty, education, intellect, or social status to win my vote.

Photo via iStock.

I know I have no business making a list. But a mom can be hopeful, right?

So to any young person who wants to date my son, here’s what I hope you will be:

1. I hope you’ll be yourself.

Be comfortable enough to be exactly who you are. Whoever you are around your closest friends should be the same when you’re around him. Do not feel the need to act differently when you’re with him—whether it’s acting more mature, more bubbly, more intellectual, more adventurous, or more reserved. You don’t need to change for anyone.

2. I hope you’ll be honest.

Be honest about everything that matters — what you feel, what you like, what you don’t like, what you want. Honesty really is the best policy, and I don’t mean with just him. Be honest with yourself, more importantly.

3. I hope you’ll be self-confident.

You likely did not get his attention with your fashion sense or makeup artistry, so stop by to say hi in your sweatpants. Let him see you after an exhausting day at work or school when you cannot be bothered to “get ready.” Your inner beauty outshines your best efforts to be pretty, hot, handsome, or sexy, and you know this.

4. I hope you'll be self-aware.

I hope you know yourself better than you know anyone else. Recognize what upsets you, what makes you happy, what you’re bad at, what you’re great at, and what you’re still learning (about yourself).

Don’t let this relationship define you. Let it enhance and inspire who you already are.

5. I hope you'll be responsible.

Be grateful and excited that you live in an era when everyone can unabashedly do their thing. If you feel stifled, stuck, or discontented in this relationship, you are the only one who can change that.

Your happiness and comfort are your highest priorities. Do not ever forget that, no matter how deeply you care for him.

6. I hope you'll be realistic.

You have your whole life ahead of you. Don’t make this relationship the center of your life. Do live in the moment. Revel and dwell in the joy that a new relationship brings. But make space for the friends, interests, and priorities you both had before you knew each other.

7. I hope you'll be patient.

You’re both young. There’s no guidebook or precise formula for the perfect relationship. You’re both going to fall short of each other’s expectations sometimes, and you’re going to continually learn so many things about yourself. 20 years from now, I hope you'll remember this advice and think, hmm, that’s still true today (well, maybe except for the part about being young).

I wish someone had told me these things when I started dating.

All too often, a young person’s world gets wrapped around their adoration for someone, and before they realize it, they can lose so much of what makes them who they are and it can be hard to see which direction is up.

Don’t lose yourself to gain the attention of a boy, even if he is my son.

You are far too precious. And if you don’t believe me, ask the people who love you the most. They’ll say I’m right. They adore you just the way you are right now, like my son does.

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less
via The Walt Disney Company / Flickr

One of the ways to tell if you're in a healthy relationship is whether you and your partner are free to talk about other people you find attractive. For many couples, bringing up such a sensitive topic can cause some major jealousy.

Of course, there's a healthy way to approach such a potentially dangerous topic.

Telling your partner you find someone else attractive shouldn't be about making them feel jealous. It's probably also best that if you're attracted to a coworker, friend, or their sibling, that you keep it to yourself.

Keep Reading Show less
Courtesy of CeraVe
True

"I love being a nurse because I have the honor of connecting with my patients during some of their best and some of their worst days and making a difference in their lives is among the most rewarding things that I can do in my own life" - Tenesia Richards, RN

From ushering new life into the world to holding the hand of a patient as they take their last breath, nurses are everyday heroes that deserve our respect and appreciation.

To give back to this community that is always giving so selflessly to others, CeraVe® put out a call to nurses to share their stories for a chance to be featured in Heroes Behind the Masks, a digital content series shining a light on nurses who go above and beyond to provide safe and quality care to patients and their communities.

First up: Tenesia Richards, a labor and delivery nurse working in New York City who, in addition to her regular job, started a community outreach program in a homeless shelter that houses expectant mothers for up to one year postpartum.

Tenesia | Heroes Behind the Masks presented by CeraVe www.youtube.com

Upon learning at a conference that black mothers in the U.S. die at three to four times the rate of white mothers, one of the widest of all racial disparities in women's health, Richards decided to take further action to help her community. She, along with a handful of fellow nurses, volunteered to provide antepartum, childbirth and postpartum education to the women living at the shelter. Additionally, they looked for other ways to boost the spirits of the residents, like throwing baby showers and bringing in guest speakers. When COVID-19 hit and in-person gatherings were no longer possible, Richards and her team found creative workarounds and created holiday care packages for the mothers instead.

Keep Reading Show less